Purchasing a vehicle can be intimidating, especially if you've never bought one before. There are several steps you can take to prepare yourself and your bank account for this large purchase. Doing your homework now can prevent future headaches.
While your budget is necessary, so is your credit. If you plan on taking out a loan when you start visiting used car dealers, your credit score will play a role in what you can afford. If your credit is good, the bank may want to work with you to lower your interest rate. If your credit is bad, the APR may be higher. Many of the larger used car dealers work hand-in-hand with banks to ensure they can assist people, regardless of their credit score, in obtaining the best possible loan rate and payment plan. Obviously, you may independently obtain your own financing before making an offer on a car. The choice is yours.
Now that you have considered your needs and the potential costs, try searching online to find out more about the options available at used car dealers. Most larger dealerships have websites with their inventory and search tools designed to assist you search for your desired features and prices. Get a feel for what's out there and contact the dealer before going to the lot to confirm the details.
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There are two major statistics that every salesman cares about, whether they're selling automobiles or kitchen knives: the close rate and average ticket. Both of these numbers affect their ranking within the company, annual rewards, and other rewards. In a sales field where every closed deal is a huge dollar amount, the close rate is far more important than the average ticket. Remember that the employee who's selling you this vehicle wants to make the sale more than anything else. He's not interested in squeezing a few extra dollars out of you to boost his commission; he wants to exceed his quota for the month so he can qualify for a reward or a vacation. If you go to a reliable dealership with a good rating online, you should feel comfortable that the company is giving you a fair, honest price.
The easiest way to foster fear is through a lack of information. When you enter into a negotiation without doing the proper prep work, there is no way for you to know if the salesman is giving you all the facts. Know what kind of vehicle you want, as well as the exact specs, features, and upgrades that are available. You should also plan to visit more than one car dealer and compare prices. One of the easiest ways to create a frank conversation about price is to simply come out and say what you were offered at another location.
While many people wish that buying a car was as easy as shopping at the supermarket, the reality is that it is in your best interest to be able to negotiate. A savvy consumer coming into a negotiation with the right attitude will always come out ahead. Those that spend their entire buying process looking for cheaters will cheat themselves out of finding the kind of car dealer who wants to work for them, not against them.